Friday, October 27, 2006

The Abortionist’s Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde

Author: Elisabeth Hyde
ISBN # 0330443003
Publisher: Pan Books
First Published: 2006
285 pages
Rating: 7/10

The Blurb:
'The problem was Megan had just taken the second half of her ecstasy when her father called with the news'. Nineteen-year-old university student Megan Thompson is beautiful, cool, clever and sexy - the kind of girl that boys fall in love with. She's mostly steered clear of family life since the death of her younger brother. That is until the day she hears her mother, Diana, has been found floating face down in their swimming pool. Diana, as Director of the Center for Reproductive Choice, was a national figure who inspired passions and made enemies. Detective Huck Berlin is brought in to investigate the case when it becomes clear that Diana was murdered. Several people have quarrelled with Diana on that fateful day, not least Frank, her husband of twenty years, and her wayward child. Now, father and daughter are thrown together in an unexpected twist of family life. Set in a small town in Colorado, The Abortionist's Daughter is an utterly compelling novel of family secrets, dark passion and, ultimately, catharsis for those whose lives have become so strangely entwined.

The Review:
Despite the brusque title and dark subject matter, this has a surprisingly light tone and is easy to read – it’s one of those books that once you pick it up, it’s incredibly easy just to keep going till you get to the end and realise you’ve read the whole thing – not necessarily un-put-down-able, but certainly easy-to-pick-up-able. It’s essentially character driven, which is unusual for a novel about a murder, and focuses more on the effects the murder has on the people still living more than the murder itself. Looking at how people cope with loss and how they are effected both by the murder and the events leading to it is an unusual slant and this is engaging stuff that can pretty much holds it’s own against the likes of The Time Traveler’s Wife, developing a fresh, modern style that looks at the world from a different angle.


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